Salt may be harder to come by this winter

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -- It may be a little early to be talking winter weather, but it's on the minds of roads crews all across the Tri-State.

That's because salt is hard to come by, and when cities find it, it's more than doubled in price.

There's no business like snow business. Sure it's a few months away, but this year area street and highway departments across the Tri-state are being confronted by a shortage of road salt now.

"Well it's definitely going to change the way we treat snow and ice this winter," said Ted Hubbard with the Hamilton County Engineers.

"We have half the amount of salt we need," added William W. Brayshaw, also with the Hamilton County Engineers.

If you're thinking, 'no big deal,' Hamilton County engineers say to remember salt is generally the biggest key to melting ice on area roadways.

Sure a lack of salt on these roadways is going to be a pain this winter, but officials say it will change the way you have to drive.

"We won't have a bare roads policy," said Brayshaw. "They'll have to learn how to drive in snow maybe an inch deep, whatever the residue from plowing is."

Several salt distributors from Louisiana to Canada who say they're reluctant to issue new contracts because they're either low on salt to begin with or they don't have any at all due to high demand."It's affecting all the jurisdictions," said Hubbard. "When your price triples, obviously your budget is fixed that has an impact on your ability to provide the service you would like to provide."

"We don't have a contract at all and I understand ODOT doesn't for the south Ohio counties," said Brayshaw.

Many municipalities say their next step maybe to bring in the melting agent from South America.